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Minor in Sustainable Apparel and Textile Innovation

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​The minor in Sustainable Apparel and Textile Innovation engages students in interdisciplinary learning that supports social change; rethinks the fundamental ways apparel and textile businesses and industry operate; and tackles the chemical, energy, waste, and water challenges associated with textile materials and manufacturing. This minor will give students the chance to take what they learn in other disciplines, beyond Fashion and Apparel Studies courses, and think more rigorously and imaginatively about how to use knowledge from other fields to impact deeply embedded social and environmental challenges. 

The minor requires eighteen credit hours. Similar to interdisciplinary minors in environmental humanities and integrated design, the minor requires a core set of courses and then electives selected from three areas that will broaden disciplinary perspectives.

As a core, two 3-credit courses are required: FASH 210 and one section of FASH 417. These required core courses allow students to assess the challenges the industry faces and how they have been addressed from the product and/or business/process innovation.

Students choose three credits of electives from each of three subject areas: Design and Social Change, Business and Industry Innovation, and Science and Engineering Innovation. A fourth three credit elective can be chosen from any of the subject areas. Courses must be selected from at least three different departments and only nine credits may be counted toward both a student's major requirements, other minor, and the Sustainable Apparel and Textile Innovation minor (i.e. "double-dip"). An advisor for this minor will be assigned to each student.

Elective courses may or may not incorporate content on the apparel industry, but instead allow students to bring broad and relevant disciplinary perspectives to bear on sustainability problems.


Required Core Courses (6 credits):

FASH 210 Seminar in Fashion and Sustainability


FASH 417 Fashion Research and Discovery: Business Model Innovation 


FASH 417 Fashion Research and Discovery: Lifecycle Approach to Design

Required Elective Courses (12 credits)

One goal of the minor is to encourage students to consider sustainable innovation from broad disciplinary perspectives, so they take 3 credits of electives from each of three elective areas: Design for Social Change, Business and Industry Innovation, and Science and Engineering Innovation. A fourth elective is chosen from any subject area. Though some of the electives have prerequisites, the choice in each case is broad enough that students from different majors will have no difficulty fulfilling the elective requirements.

Elective One: Design for Social Change (Pick one 3 credit course)

Elective one focuses on the critical role of human behavior for sustainable innovation to succeed. Courses in this elective provide a framework for understanding how visual information and artifacts can be used for raising individual and community awareness and understanding, changing attitudes, and generating the political will so that citizens, consumers, business and political leaders, and others can embrace lasting change in what apparel products are offered, and how they are made, used, and disposed of.

ART 204 Media/Design/Culture

ART 215 Seeing and Being

ART 324 The Art of Social Change

FASH 417 Fashion Research and Discovery: Lifecycle Approach to Design (if not taken as a core requirement)

Elective Two: Business and Industry Innovation (pick courses totaling 3 credits)

Elective two provides students with expanded knowledge on relevant social, cultural, economic, and legal contexts that support and constrain business and industry innovation. Understanding these constraints facilitates innovation by allowing students to analyze the broad contextual factors that may need to be addressed.

ACCT 352 Law and Social Issues in Business (Jr status)

ANTH 382 The Anthropology of Capitalism

ECON 311 Economics of Developing Countries (pr. ECON 101, ECON 103)

FASH 417 Fashion Research and Discovery: Business Model Innovation (if not taken as a core requirement)

FASH 455 Global Apparel and Textile Trade and Sourcing (Pr. ECON 101 or ECON 103)

WOMS 312/ANTH 312 Asian Women in the Globalized WorkplaceAlternatively, students may also bundle three of the following one-credit courses to fulfill this elective.

FASH 689 Apparel Supply Chains & Social Responsibility (1 credit)

FASH 691 Socially Responsible Apparel: Global Policy (1 credit)FASH 692 Sustaining Global Apparel Supply Chains (1 credit)

FASH 693 Culture & Work in the Apparel Industry (1 credit)

FASH 694 Apparel Consumers and Social Responsibility (1 credit)

FASH 695 Bringing Social Responsibility to Apparel Corporate Culture (1 credit)

FASH 696 Current Initiatives for Apparel Industry Labor Compliance (1 credit)

FASH 697 Worker-Centric Social Responsibility (1 credit)

FASH 698 Redesigning “Green” Apparel (1 credit)

FASH 699 Producing Environmentally Responsible Apparel (1 credit)

Elective Three: Science and Engineering Innovation (Pick one 3 credit course)

Elective three augments student knowledge on scientific and engineering approaches for chemical management, water and waste water treatment, energy management, and/or waste disposal. Innovations in all areas are needed to improve environmental performance in the apparel and textile industry.

CIEG 402 Introduction to Sustainability Principles in Civil Engineering

CHEM 683/MAST 683 Environmental Chemistry (requires substantial CHEM foundation)

ENEP 425 Energy Policy and Administration

ENEP 420 Water Resources Management (Pr. MATH 114)

ENEP 427 Sustainable Energy: Economics & Policy Analysis (Pr. ENEP 425)

FASH 215 Fundamentals of Textiles I (Pr. CHEM 101 or CHEM 100)

Elective Four: Choose any 3-credits from the above list.

All courses included in the minor must be completed with a grade of C- or better. At least nine credits must be at the 300-level or above. Substitutions for the above courses may be made with permission of the program director. Independent studies and special problems courses may also count toward the minor with the director's approval.

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  • Department of Fashion and Apparel Studies
  • 211 Alison Hall West
  • University of Delaware
  • Newark, DE 19716, USA
  • Phone: 302-831-8714
  • United States Fashion Industry Association